SC begins hearing appeals by December 16 gangrape convicts

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New Delhi, April 4 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Monday commenced the final hearing on the appeals by four December 16, 2012 Delhi gangrape accused challenging the Delhi High Court verdict upholding their death sentence.

As the bench of Justice Dipak Misrra, Justice V. Gopala Gowda and Justice Kurian Joseph commenced the hearing, counsel M.L.Sharma appearing for accused Mukesh and Pawan told the court that there was haste and hurry on the part of the high court in deciding the matter without deciding on the application relating to their torture by police.

Arguing the high court was in a hurry to decide the appeals of his clients the moment they reached before it, Sharma said that applications alleging torture of his clients were not even taken up by the court.

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At this, Justice Misra said: “Let us hear the case as if fresh case is being raised” and asked Sharma to proceed in the matter in his own way. “We have to deal with the matter in its entirety,” the judge added.

After making his preliminary objections on the manner his clients were allegedly not given a fair opportunity before the trial court and later the high court, Sharma sought to take the apex court into the judgment pronounced by the trial court with an objective to point gaps that could be read in favour of his clients.

The other two convicts are Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur.

On March 13, 2014, the Delhi High Court bench of Justice Reva Khetrapal and Justice Pratibha Rani had upheld the death sentence of all four.

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“Society’s abhorrence to atrocious crimes perpetrated upon innocent and helpless victims has resulted in the death penalty being retained on the statute book to remind such criminals that human life is very precious and one who dares to take the life of others must lose his own life,” the high court had said in its order.

Mukesh, Pawan, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur and Ram Singh along with a juvenile were accused of gang rape and assault on a 23-year-old paramedical student inside a private bus. The victim and her friend were thrown out of the bus after the crime.

Ram Singh allegedly committed suicide while in incarceration.

The victim died of grave intestinal injuries Dec 29, 2012 at Singapore’s Mount Elizabeth Hospital.

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